- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Colorado House OKs 4 gun bills
Ammo makers threaten to leave state
DENVER | The Colorado House approved four gun-control bills Monday after lobbying by the White House and in spite of warnings that they would drive firearms and ammunition manufacturers out of the state.
All four bills were passed without Republican support, although a handful of Democrats from rural or swing districts crossed party lines to oppose the measures. The most dramatic moment of the four-hour session came when Republicans stood to honor Democratic state Rep. Ed Vigil as he announced that he would vote against the bills.
“My conscience is clear that I am doing the right thing for Colorado and for the people of Colorado,” said Mr. Vigil. “This is part of our heritage.”
Given that Democrats outnumber Republicans by 37-28, however, the outcome of the votes was never in doubt. The bills now head to the Senate, where Democrats hold a 20-15 majority and are expected to approve the measures.
Officials from two Colorado ammunition companies, Magul Industries and Alfred Manufacturing, indicated last week that they would relocate if a bill limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds were signed into law, even though Democrats amended the bill to exempt manufacturers.
That measure, House Bill 1224, won approval Monday on a 34-31 vote. The other three bills advancing would mandate universal background checks, require gun buyers to pay for their background checks, and ban concealed-carry permit holders from bringing guns into buildings on public college campuses.
“Enough is enough. I’m sick and tired of the bloodshed,” said Democratic state Rep. Rhonda Fields, whose district includes the Aurora theater where 12 people were killed and dozens were injured in a mass shooting in July. “Limiting high-capacity magazines to 15 rounds will make our communities less dangerous.”
Vice President Joseph R. Biden called a handful of swing lawmakers Friday while on vacation in Aspen, urging them to support the gun-control package, but Mrs. Fields said the White House was not involved in her decision to push for legislation.
“After the horrible events that happened in Aurora, I was compelled to do something,” she said. “It was way before the White House initiative to address gun violence. So this is not something that was based on some White House-Washington influence.”
Still unclear is whether Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign the bills. The governor has said he supports limiting magazine rounds and charging gun buyers for background checks, although he has not said whether he supports the House versions.
Republicans argued that the bills would have no impact on public safety but would cost the state hundreds of jobs, violate the Second Amendment rights of Coloradans, and inevitably lead to mass gun registration.
Republican state Rep. Chris Holbert said gun owners will be unable to prove whether they passed a background check unless their firearm purchase is recorded in a state database. State agencies now delete information from background checks within 24 hours.
“It is clear that this bill is either totally misguided and people don’t understand what they’re doing, or it’s completely intentional and it leads to registration,” he said. “That’s not black helicopters, as was mentioned earlier, that’s blatantly obvious. And the people of Colorado know it. The voters understand what we’re doing here.”
Republican state Rep. Lori Saine likened requiring gun buyers to pay for their background checks to a poll tax. Both charge citizens a fee in order to exercise a constitutional right, she said.
“A fee that is rendered on a right such as this can’t be anything other than a poll tax,” said Mrs. Saine, noting that the bill contains no limit on the amount of the fee. “This will suppress gun ownership. It will discourage people from owning weapons.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Stars not aligned with polls on Keystone
- Former Greenpeace insider Patrick Moore who questions climate change says he can stand the heat
- Pot shot: GOP candidates see hit to Colorado's image from legal weed
- Arizona veto likely to chill other religious freedom bills
- Alaska marijuana-legalization initiative clears signature hurdle to qualify for ballot
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Paul takes veiled shot at Cruz, says GOP must focus on growth
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- EDITORIAL: As jobs vanish, Obama wants more of same
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again